Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Home Schooling - Guarding And Leading Our Children



Song:  Silent Lucidity

Group:  Queensryche



(This is aimed at the young...inexperienced parents)

You should always use Positive Reinforcement as your mainstay.

This is for those times where something either must be done or not done...
and the child simply continually refuses...
especially when time is of the essence.

I know I preach a lot...
not only because I am self aware...
but because I am told this over and over again...
by many people  :)


I used to keep most things to myself...
until I gathered more experience in life...
and realized how many times I could have made a difference 
in someone else's life...
had I just said something...
had I just illuminated an issue that...
although was basic common sense...
the person was either too close to the issue...
and so, too emotional about it...
and could not think clearly...
or simply had not thought about it from that 
certain perspective.

I have had many times in my life (younger years)...
where the words and heartfelt delivery
of someone had made me pause and reflect...
to think it through and put everything into perspective.

There were many wise men in my life...
all of whom had put me on to a better path in life.

They were sometimes severe in their admonishment...
but had always done it to ensure the path I had walked 
was a correct one.

After I had simply thought it through...
I realized two basic things...

One:  They were, in fact, correct.

Two:  They had cared enough to take the time and effort 
to correct me.  

It is the person who, ultimately, does not care...
that says nothing.

They sometimes delivered the message harsher and harsher...
(had I repeatedly not done the right thing)
until I had gotten it...
and by doing so...
were my moral guardians.

They had chosen to be my teachers and my guides in life.

They sometimes had to punctuate it physically...
(Martial Arts / Army)
to ensure the lesson was one I would never forget...
as the issue at hand was too central to living life well...
or too important to the well being of others to simply let go.

They steered me in the right direction by whatever means necessary.

They are the ones in my life...
whom are remembered most fondly by me.

It was such a privilege to have been under their watchful eyes.

It is to them, I owe a great debt.


So...what has this got to do with our children?

We, as parents, must be resolved to be...
above all else...
our children's Guardians and Leaders.

Our children being on the correct path in life...
must take precedence.

It must come before our personal honor.

Some people falsely believe they cannot tell their 
children to not do that which they had done as a youth.

To have them on the correct path supersedes telling the truth if necessary.
Always remember... that doing the right thing is what matters.

If it means lying to keep them on the correct path...
then the lie must be told to protect them.

As parents...
our personal honor takes a back seat to our children's needs.  

To forgo personal honor...
in the protection of others...
 is what is truly honorable.


It must come, if necessary, at the expense of momentary
affection from our children
(they will see that temporary chastisement is, ultimately, love in action).

It must come before the feelings of over protectiveness.

In this day and age...
it really is very difficult to be over protective.


It must come at the expense of being their friend.

The ones who had corrected me by what ever means necessary...
were my true friends in life.

They were the ones who cared more about me...
the ones who ensured I got on the correct path in life...
rather than merely enjoying a momentary walk at my side
in life...and so...enjoying themselves in the process.

They were willing to sacrifice a friendship to be a true friend to me
(The possibility of a sacrifice was in their minds only...
I quickly realized what a true friend they were being).


I have sometimes scolded my son so severely...
that he had to choke back tears.

It breaks my heart every time I see tears in my son's eyes.

But...it is not about me.

As a parent...
it is all about him.

It is all about him being on the correct path in life.


A child under your roof...
is a child under your protection and guidance.

To allow them to take off to whereabouts unknown...
is to forgo your sacred duty as a guardian.

To allow them to take on unhealthful habits...
because you think that it is their life...
is to forego their guidance in life
out of a misplaced sense of social loyalty...
or friendship of your children
over that of your sacred duty to guide them.

To have them drive before they are mature
and responsible in demonstrated actions...
and to give them a high horsepower car...
instead of a reliable and safe car
(just this side of a tank)
is to want to be popular with your children...
over that of your sacred duty to protect them
from all dangers...
even from themselves.

To think that it is society's responsibility to raise your child...
to bear the complete burden of educating them...
is to forgo you sacred responsibility of leading your child.


 To be willing in mind...
steadfast in action...
following through with that which is ultimately right
for your child's life...
is to be a parent.


It is to guide and lead them to that which is correct
(healthful and to the great benefit for your child...
Physically / Intellectually / Emotionally...
 in the long run).


Never get bogged down in the false concept of moral relativism.

It is sometimes necessary to yell...
and not allow them to yell...
to get and hold their attention...
when you have exhausted lower means of correction.

It is sometimes necessary...
to be far more stubborn than they...
to overcome their stubbornness...
so long as you are stubbornly correct.

It is sometimes necessary to be a tyrant...
where you must not allow them to be...
to ensure their safety.

It is sometimes necessary to have a closed mind...
there are things in life that are...
 incorrect...
dangerous...
flat out wrong.

To have an open mind is to consider all variables...
and to then render a logical decision...
and act upon it.

Unless new situation altering variables 
come into the picture...
not altering the path is not having a closed mind.

It is not being wishy washy.

You should have a closed mind to any thing that
could negatively affect your child.

There are simply so many correct and beautiful things in life...
it is those who never stand their ground on those correct ways...
that have closed their minds to that which is right.

They falsely believe that to never commit is to have an open mind...
to think that there is no right or wrong because they don't wish 
to have others think that they only see things in black and white...
that they are falsely rigid.

Being correct means having to be sturdy
where others turn to mush...
realizing that mush only conforms to the shape in which it is placed.

By taking charge...
knowing what is right...
doing what is right...
and most importantly...
having them do what is right...
and ultimately having them take charge
of their lives through correct choices

(they must not be allowed to make incorrect choices -
possibly life altering ones...
explain the reasoning...be the tyrant if necessary)

teaches them to be a leader themselves.

A leader knows what needs to be done...
and knows how to get others to do that which 
must be done.

That is what it takes to be a parent...
a Guardian and a Leader...
above all else.








Monday, August 29, 2011

Home Schooling - A Free Day For Alex


Song:  Only Good Times

Artists:  Keola and Kapono Beamer




I was so...

happy...
relieved...
grateful...

so deeply satisfied with the road...
and with the progress on it...
that Alex is walking.

He has shown such great improvement in everything.
I just had to mark it with a special day for Alex.

We started out by going to Roaring Railroad in Felton.

It is a steam locomotive on a track through the mountains and redwoods...
giving a beautiful and very scenic 1.5 hour trek in open air cars.

Alex likes trains...and forests.

I combined them here.






In this last picture...
the train is filling up with water before we start out.





The steam locomotive letting out steam to lower its pressure
 before refilling with water near the end of our journey.


At the end of our day at Roaring Railroads.

From here...
we traveled just over the next set of hills into Santa Cruz...
for the rest of the day.



Here we are at the Santa Cruz Pier.





We are looking down at the sea lions playing in the ocean.




We are on the eastern side of the pier while looking
at the Boardwalk in the distance...
our next destination.



A people friendly Pelican.


Alex on the boardwalk looking back at the pier.



We made our way down the boardwalk and arrived
at our first ride...
Logger's Revenge.

Alex laughed loudly when we hit the bottom of the trough...
and got splashed.






The fog started moving in on us as dusk came.

We had our fun at the Boardwalk...

time to go back to the pier to top off the evening
with a nice meal.


The Fire Fish - an excellent Pier restaurant.

The food and views were spectacular.


Alex playing on his iPad II.

He doesn't mind long drives as he always has
his iPad II, handheld game units, books and 
computer to keep him occupied.

I am watching him mature so quickly.
I only have so many more days of magic I can
give him before he spreads his wings.


However...
this day was not about me or my feelings...
this day was Alex's.

He had earned a day of fun just for him...

Only Good Times.


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Home Schooling - Great Leaps In Performance Through Steady Practice


Song:  Long Train Running

Group:  The Doobie Brothers



(These are pictures of earlier practice sessions)

Just last week, Alex had performed so perfectly in Karate practice.

As I take him 4 times a week to his practice...
and watch the class...
always watching for any weak areas to work on when we get home...
he had one of those magical days where everything just came together.

We average another 1 hour of practice of Karate as soon as we get home.

I drill him on the basics of striking using focus mitts and a kicking shield.

I also drill him on sparring basics...
Bobbing and Weaving...
Parrying...
and closing the distance.

I will be covering slipping and counter punching soon.

I have constantly reinforced the absolute need for...
 smooth...relaxed...economical motion...
which gives fluidity and power.


As I had watched him in his class...
he had great...
 fighting spirit...
stance and guarding...
powerful delivery...
timing and breathing.

I was so proud of him.


I had taught him one of the most powerful and damaging kicks
in all of martial arts...
the Muay Thai shin kick.

I also have him practice the Front Kick.

These two kicks incorporate the two basic methods of 
the delivery of power from the body...
Thrusting...
and Rotational force.

The same principle applies for the punches...
for the thrusting motions 
(power from the ground up)...
the jab...
and the reverse punch (cross).

For the rotational motions...
the hook...
and the back fist.

There are a large number of kicks and punches out there...
however, with just these basic ones mastered...
the principles apply to all.


I have always stressed to him 
that Karate is not a game of tag...
without power...
it is meaningless.


He seems to understand that now.


He is looking forward to my teaching him some basic grappling moves.
I will cover basic hooking and locking.
I will also have him formerly trained in some of the grappling arts later on.



Right after his at home practice...
he practices the flute.

He also did an extraordinary job on this day with the flute.

His timing, in the song he is practicing, was very good.
He had hit all the notes and his breathing was so much better...
as was his posture.

Now...
this brings this article to the real principle
behind this sudden great leap in performance.

Actually, I shouldn't be surprised.

It is exactly what I told him to expect...
that great rewards in life come with steady practice.

I was just so surprised that everything seemed so perfect on this day...
all at once.

I also told him that...
 although he should expect to now perform at a higher level...
that there will be some days where he will have some problems...
even with formerly well learned moves.

But...
on the whole...
he could look forward to many more...
great leaps in capability.

Just as in Karate or Music...
in Academics...
and in everything in life...

it is through diligence...
the quantity of quality practice...
that he will master his world.

I told him to remember this day...
that it had come through for him...
only because of his steady and unrelenting daily practice
(he practices every day - less on weight training days...but still some).

Right after his practice...
he saw the look on my face...
I am sure it had told him everything he wanted to know.


The look on his face told me everything on this day.

He was quietly extremely proud of himself...
as well he should have been.


What makes me so relieved and so very proud...
is my knowledge that this day will stay with him.

Should he ever feel under pressure...
I know that this lesson will prove to be his refuge.

He will always KNOW...
that all he has to do is apply himself...
with steady and great effort...
and he will have...
over time...
steady and great results.

This is the very basis for...
Deferred Gratification.


Great days come...
not through providence or luck.

It is the culmination of correctly applied effort...
steadily...
daily.


With achievement...
comes love of self.

With love of self...
comes love of others.

Love is the great flavor in the feast that is life.

Without love....

well, like the above song says....  :)








Thursday, August 25, 2011

Home Schooling: Science Programs - Chemistry And Biology


Song:  No Matter What

Group:  Bad Finger



Alex loves the new Chemistry and Biology programs
his mother had gotten for him.

They go from grades 6 - 12.

They are broken into approximately 11 semesters each...
covering the material through grade 12.

Alex is now on the 6th semester of Biology...
we got it a few weeks ago.

Each has numerous tests which his mother corrects and ensures
his understanding of the concepts and problems.

We are having him just concentrate on one science at a time.

He will then move on to Chemistry.

He had some of the basics of Chemistry already...
but this will be a comprehensive study of it from the beginning.

Alex says he loves these programs because they are explained
in a manner that is logical...and so...easy to understand and retain.

Alex is finished with Algebra II.
He is now moving on to Geometry.

We had decided to go straight to Algebra II from Algebra I
as this would allow unfettered continuance of his Algebra.

Geometry uses basic Algebra to help solve the problems...
however, as we knew he would be doing Geometry...
we wanted his learning of Algebra to be unbroken to keep 
his forward intellectual momentum.

Now that he has a solid grasp of Algebra...
he can focus on Geometry.

He is also continuing with, and honing, his Discrete Mathematics 
and Algebra through daily practice and competition through Alcumus. 


Online advanced courses give so much to students.

There are no distractions...
no frustrations associated with having to move 
at the much slower pace which schools normally progress.

Because our nation's school system is a slave to...
 social conventions...
subjective (non) thought...
and emotions over

Logic and Critical (Objective) Reasoning...

Feelings, Social Passing and Political Correctness over

Academic Excellence...

we, as parents, must give to our children...
that which our society refuses to give.


No matter what...

our society deems as correct
(political correctness over performance)...

success demands excellence through performance.


I think most children are bored out of their minds in most classes  
(however, there are some excellent classes and instructors).

Much of what is taught is out of logical sequence.
Much of the necessary information to show 
a logical progression of cause and effect is 
either delayed or omitted.

Concepts are absent.

Often times...
it is so filled with unnecessary details...

(details should come after full 
conceptual understanding...as I have spoken much
about in my past articles...the leaves of the tree of knowledge
is being taught before the roots, trunks, branches and twigs...
which doesn't allow for perspective and the logical progression of
thought this would engender)

that it becomes a game of memorization and regurgitation.


Online courses allow conceptual understanding
before moving forward.  


How are online courses any different from the school system?


It has everything to do with it being a meritocracy...

there is no curve...

(let's see...a floating standard...the teachers are not graded
because there is a set number of grades per class...there will always
be a certain number of grades by percentage.  Should there not be a curve
but a grading system built solidly upon merit...then if a few students fail...
it is the students fault...however, should there be many students who did not
do so well...well...you would know where the fault lay...wouldn't you?)...

and with a free market with parental reviews of the various programs...

VS...

a Dictatorship without either parental or peer review

(with politics and PC as a priority...
I say the Emperor has no clothes!)

excellence (online) wins out.


Home Schooling is supremely adaptable to the child
(all of whom would learn far more quickly and effectively)...
and there would be no progression until 100% understanding.


You needn't home school to get your child
many of the benefits.

Online courses are easily gotten...
your children could work so far ahead of their class that
school would be a learning place of sheer pleasure.

Much of their life is dictated by how well they perform
in University or on the job.

So many drop out of University because they are being
thrown into the deep end of the pool without having been given
 adequate swimming lessons.

They are simply not prepared for the rigors of University.

Unless they already have a firm conceptual understanding of the basics...
they fall too far behind.

Although there are many who do make it...
many more don't...or don't even consider it an option...
as they know how underprepared they are.

You must remember...
while education has always been important...
it is even more important now...
and will be even more important in the future.

As, in this nation, we have moved out of the industrial era...
almost all of the higher paying careers will demand a higher
education along with the capability to critically reason...
to problem solve on the fly.


Why this song...

No Matter What?

Think of the female reference to being life
(reverse it for a girl).


Your child's life is to be his/her great mistress/maistre.

A great love and adventure...

made possible by the amount of care and planning
taken on your part early on...
for them.

Supplement their education...
give them the great gift of great study habits...
and the tools necessary to excel.


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Home Schooling - Algebra II Update


Song:  Serpent Trench

Orchestral Version:  Final Fantasy VI (III in US)



Alex is almost completely done with Algebra II from Thinkwell.

He had skipped over some of the easier things that he had already known.

He is now just cleaning up the last segment.


Solving Rational Inequalities





A bottle of Calpico (Yogurt drink) for Alex...
he was working hard and deserved a treat.

Alex is doing so well with his studies.

He gets up every morning and eats breakfast and then goes to
his study station (dining table) and self initiates his studies.

His mother has his class schedule written out and Alex completes
each course without being told. 

 His tests are recorded on the sites 
(Thinkwell for Math / Plato for most other subjects).

However...Alex lets his mother know when he has completed a test
so she may check it and go over the incorrect answers
until he understands where he had made the mistake...
and how to correct it.

He is also steadily improving his Alcumus ranking...he is now at 875.

He does his last formal study session from usually
11:30 PM till 12:30 AM with Alcumus.

He enjoys participating in the math competition for ranking
(Algebra / Counting and Probabilities / Number Theory ).

Alex really loves a scheduled lifestyle.

We shall be taking him on a Beach camping trip sometime soon.

He is looking forward to it...
he has more than earned a nice vacation.

I am so proud of his efforts in his studies...
not only academically...
but in his Physical and Musical training.

Pretty soon... I shall be putting up a video of 
Alex playing his first song on the Bamboo Alto Flute.

He learned the song to be played...
he is now refining the tone and timing.

In my next article...
I will cover some other courses Alex is learning 
(Basic Chemistry and Biology).




Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Home Schooling - iPad II - A Learning Tool For Alex


Song:  Save Them (Protect The Espers)

From:  Final Fantasy VI (III in USA)




Alex with an iPad at the Orthodontist's Office
(The Orthodontist had installed them on the treatment chairs).

He really loved it...my wife saw that it had many educational 
applications for Alex....so....




Alex excitedly opening his new iPad II.

It just arrived yesterday and my wife and Alex have been busy
loading applications to it.

The battery life is supposed to be very lengthly in play...
we still must see...although I can imagine it outlasting
his laptop.

Another strength of the iPad...
the pure number of applications available.



My wife has included SAT prep and Japanese practice...
among many other learning apps.

Alex can study on the go almost anywhere...
especially camping.

Alex enjoys studying on the road as he can use his time more 
efficiently...study and not get bored with the ride.

There are just so many educational applications that we just
couldn't pass up the opportunity for Alex to have a greater
variety of learning tools at his disposal.

He will also be able to download many books to it.

Please excuse the fast paced music on this page.

My aim is to give you the feeling that Alex had when
getting his new iPad II....
that and...

I am a hopeless Final Fantasy Fanatic.


Saturday, August 13, 2011

Home Schooling - Leisure Reading - Scientific American's Ask The Experts


Song:  Devil's Lab

From:  Final Fantasy VI (III in USA)




Scientific American's...
Ask The Experts


A collection of thought provoking questions...
in various disciplines of science...
answered and conceptualized by well known...
 and respected scientists in their field.

The various fields covered includes...

Astronomy and Cosmology...

Biology and Zoology...

Evolution, Anatomy and Physiology...

Chemistry and Earth Science....

Mathematics and Computers...

Physics.


These fields are by no means covered to any great extent.

There are a few questions and answers for each...
however...they stimulate interest in each field.

A few sample questions:

How do scientists measure the weight of the earth?

Answered by:
Gregory A. Lysenga, Professor of Physics
Harvey Mudd College


What determines whether a substance is transparent?

Answered by:
Morton Tavel, Professor of Physics,
Vassar College


What is Antimatter?

Answered by:
R. Michael Barnett
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Helen R. Quinn
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center


How do trees carry water from the soil around their roots to the leaves at the top?

Answered by:
Alan Dickman, Curriculum Director, Dept. of Biology
University of Oregon

What is the function of the human appendix?

Answered by:
Loren G. Martin, Professor of Physiology
Oklahoma State University


This is Alex's favorite leisure book right now.
He said he finds it very interesting.

He is just about done with it.

I had asked him what he liked about the book.

He said that he likes the question and answer format...
and how they explained everything in a clear and concise manner.

This is a perfect introductory book into the various disciplines 
of science.  

It lays a perfect discussion platform into various
experimental methodologies.

I will be asking him how he thinks the answers were arrived at...
and how he could construct an experiment to gather evidence
toward the resolution of the questions.

It is available from various book sources for about $10.00...
Also available on Kindle.

250 easy reading pages...
well worth the read.




Thursday, August 4, 2011

Alex's Last Day Of Swimming - 25 Meters Non-Stop - Breast Stroke


I was taking Alex to the community pool twice a week for a little over
one month now.  The first few times, I got in with him and 
taught him the breast stroke.

He couldn't swim at all 
(Dog Paddling a few feet doesn't count)...
until a couple of weeks ago.

He did this on his last swim day of the season
(He went 3/4 of the way last week).

As School is starting in a few days...
the High School students will be using the pool...
no more for the public until next summer.

He now wants to go to the deep end
(I said maybe next year after demonstrating to me his skills...
and with me there swimming also).

Alex is making steady improvement through steady training...
in everything.

This lesson is far more important than any other...
steady progress through steady training or study...

The only limit is yourself.









Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...